Nintendo isn’t happy right now. A ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union on a lawsuit between Nintendo and a retailer called PC Box states that circumventing protection on a game console is not, in itself, illegal.
PC Box was distributing software that allows users to view movies, videos, and play music files on the DS handheld and Wii game console. Nintendo filed a lawsuit stating that this software also allows, of course, the playing of illegally acquired video games.
It is not unlawful, according to the court, to simply circumvent the protection; you have to actually do something illegal once you get in.
“The legal protection covers only the technological measures intended to prevent or eliminate unauthorized acts of reproduction, communication, public offer or distribution,” the court says.
A press release from Nintendo says that it will “continue to fully engage” the tribunal. It also says that “since Nintendo only ever utilizes technological protection measures which are both necessary and proportionate to prevent widespread piracy of its intellectual property, and since the preponderant purpose of the circumvention devices marketed by PC Box is to enable piracy of legitimate video games, Nintendo is confident that the application of the guidance set out by the CJEU relating to proportionality will enable the Milan Tribunal to determine that the sale of circumvention devices is unlawful.”
Nintendo adds that it will “will continue to pursue those involved in the distribution” of those circumvention devices.